BREMERTON, Wash. — Joe Kennedy, the former Bremerton High School football coach who won a U.S. Supreme Court case over the summer against the Bremerton School District, has been reinstated.
Kennedy lost his job in 2015 over his refusal to stop holding prayers with players on the field.
BSD released a statement about the status of the case on March 6.
Mr. Kennedy will be an assistant football coach for Bremerton High School for the 2023 season. Mr. Kennedy has completed human resources paperwork and we are awaiting the results of his fingerprinting and background check. Mr. Kennedy will need to complete all training required by WIAA. Football coach contracts are approved by the Board at the August 3, 2023 board meeting, and begin in mid-August. As with any other assistant coach, Mr. Kennedy will be included in coaching staff communication and meetings, spring football practice and other off-season football activities.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Kennedy's favor that his prayers were protected under the First Amendment.
“The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike,” wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch for the majority.
Kennedy said in an interview with KING 5 after the ruling that he would be on the "first flight back" to return to his position once he had the chance.
“We are thrilled that Bremerton and Coach Kennedy are back together and we hope they go undefeated,” the First Liberty Institute, which helped represent Kennedy in the case, said in a statement.